Eat fruits as nature provided
By Penelope A. Domogo, MD
I love going to public markets as these are where you can buy produce fresh from the farm or forest. If I had time, I would look into all the alleys of the fresh vegetables and fruits, looking for natural produce, after which I would be lugging a heavy load, many of which are not in my market list. So you can imagine me like a loaded Christmas tree. On one such trip to the market a few days ago, I saw star apples! Huh, it is not summer yet. But we didn’t really have a “winter” season – the “ber” months last year were not brrr and were actually warm – so the summer fruit trees must have been warmed enough to bear fruit. Or perhaps star apples really appear this early. Anyways, summer is fruit time in the tropics- I saw watermelons and mangoes too. But then watermelons and mangoes are now available all year round. But for the information of our beloved readers (especially those who grew up in the city) mangoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, star apples, are naturally available only in summer. Oranges are available naturally only in the last quarter of the year. Bananas are the only fruits I know that are all-year round. But how come many other fruits are available all year round?
What do humans do so that mangoes are harvested in September and watermelons are harvested in December? They tamper with their natural cycle. If we give people contraceptives so that they will not have a baby, we give the opposite chemicals to plants so that they will be more fertile and produce more fruits and produce more often. Thus we have a lot of oranges, apples, pears, mangoes, watermelons, etc. – and anytime, in the market. City people would not know if the fruit is in season or not. They will just buy what they like. It’s a pity because they are deprived of the joy of seeing a new “face”. Well, like I was happy to see star apples. Buti na lang they (I pray that they will rethink what they are doing) have not tampered with star apples, avocadoes, durian, marang, lanzones, rambutan, chico, etc. Marami pa namang natural na fruits.
Why are we concerned that our fruits be natural? (meaning organic and in season) If you have read last week’s issue, there is a Supreme Being who has designed us and all that is in the universe, whether we believe it or not. But how can not one believe when you see a flower, a bird, the rainbow, when you see your face and your beloved? Anyways, science (the science that I know) has showed and continues to show that if we go by this design of the Supreme Being which is nature, then we are well and so with all those around us- our environment.
So how did the Supreme Being give fruits to us? For people who grew up in the province, they would know that fruits are given in season, in certain climates and soils and… sparingly. The sweeter and yummier it is, the lesser is given. Take the mango for example. It only fruits once in two years or if it fruits yearly, this year’s fruiting will not be as much as last year’s. Or one side only fruits for the year. Mango is given only once a year- that is, in summer, and only in warm areas. Mangoes don’t thrive in Canada. How about bananas? These are not as sweet and so more is given. How about oranges? Naturally-grown oranges don’t bear a lot of fruits so when we were kids, we would have half an orange each. Once a year. How about chisa? You should see our chisa tree- it overflows with fruits (in Besao, we term this bountiful fruiting “nanamyos”) and yet no one would attempt to harvest it. Why do you think this loving Supreme Being placed a cap on fruits? Let’s hazard a guess (which I hope is an intelligent one). Fruits are rich in….. SUGAR! Refined sugar pa! Fructose, the sugar found in fruits, is a simple sugar. It is a disaccharide, if you are interested to know, but still considered simple. We say “simple” living is great but when it comes to sugars, the term “simple” is bad. Confusing? Now you know why the English language is crazy. Language aside, I know more than one person who developed diabetes from eating too much sweet fruits.
“But I need potassium” you would say. Oh yes, we all need potassium and all the other minerals but in so minute amounts that you don’t need to eat fruits every day. How do you think people live in the rural areas where there are no commercial markets? You think you are healthier than them? I suggest that you walk the distance that they walk so you will know the answer.
The Supreme Being gave fruits in nature for variety in our food. I repeat, for variety, not for staple. So if you don’t have bananas every meal, be thankful, because that’s good for you. Even bananas are designed not to be eaten every day. Ows? Well, what’s the nature of the banana? You may have a whole “bulig” of ripe tumok bananas and you think it will supply you for a month kasi more than 30 pieces. But soorry, after a week or so, they would be overripe. “I will freeze it for smoothies”. Oops, that’s not natural already. You better give some to your neighbor or sell it to me. You don’t need to experiment with unnatural eating and living. Marami ng experiments and we should learn from them. Don’t wait to become diabetic or have a lowered immune system before you to limit your fruit intake. And don’t crave for fruits that are not natural in your place. If you can’t have apples every day to keep your doctor away, take heart. The loving Supreme Being gave you bananas and chisa and guavas and alumani and a lot more- just eat them when they are in season and if grown naturally. You don’t want to ingest those toxic chemicals along with your potassium, do you?**
“All creatures look to you to give them their food in due season.” Psalm 104:27